Tobey Tamber is a Taiwanese citizen by way of Indiana, and a frequent Top Eighter in the Asia-Pacific Grand Prix's even before he moved to Taiwan for a teaching position a year ago. Since the big move, Tobey has won a Grand Prix in the region, and recently placed in the Top 8 of the APAC Championships, a credit both to his playing skills and his vast network of friends, who provided him with everything he needed to know about Adrian Sullivan's Chevy Blue deck to succeed at the event, thus earning his slot here at Worlds. On Day 1, he once again played a deck designed (and played) by Adrian Sullivan, going 4-2 in the event, and a good draft here would leave him in a good position for a run on Day 3, if not for the Top 8 then definitely for a significant prize.
Tobey's draft pod here at the second draft of the day is a mix of known and unknown players, with the seating as follows:
- Tobey Tamber, second from left Steve Gerson
- Antti Puurula
- David Bachmann
- Siong Soh
- Tobey Tamber
- Sam Lau
- Yujian Zhou
- Chad Ellis
Tobey was in the coveted five-seat, considered by many to be the most stable drafting position available, with a good mix of early sway on the draft as well as certainty that you will be able to play your powerful first-pick cards out of the packs opened nearest you. In the first packs Tobey was able to establish himself right away as the white mage, dipping in immediately to white-blue as soon as he was able. With an Armadillo Cloak picked out of the 1-seat and a fight over black between 2 and 3 (Antti drafted Goham Djinn over Exotic Curse, and because of this Bachmann decided not to respect his signal of 'I drafted a Black card' as a good reason not to take Exotic Curse right behind him), Tobey doubtlessly breathed a sigh of relief when a Nomadic Elf was picked fourth, allowing him to pick up a Crusading Knight and signal his heavy interest in white, the first such sign from the table if you don't count the Armadillo Cloak, which many do not thanks to their general hatred of the green-white color combination without heavy support from other colors. Sam Lau and Yujian Zhou fought over blue-white right behind him, snagging a Metathran Transport and Crimson Acolyte, but Sam quickly got shaken out of that color combination, during the fourth pack. The fight between Bachmann and his neighbor continued as Bachmann scored a second Curse and a Demise, but Bachmann's Demise led to Tobey's first Blue card, and right after accepting his second color he was passed Barrin's Spite. With a five-color-green mage feeding him and blue-white drafters left in his wake, Tobey seemed to be all clear after the first pack. His picks were:
Crusading Knight, Obsidian Acolyte, Protective Sphere, Tower Drake, Bog Initiates, Barrin's Spite, Tainted Well, Benalish Heralds, Metathran Zombie, Elfhame Sanctuary, Stormscape Apprentice, Crimson Acolyte, Stormscape Apprentice, Chromatic Sphere
Two late Apprentices told him that he was all set up, and while Planeshift led to a lot of confusion as players looked forward to the impending Apocalypse packs, Tobey tried as hard as he could not to be shaken off, drafting the following cards:
Lashknife Barrier (Yujian Zhou had the first crack at it and took Samite Pilgrim over it), Goblin Game, Aurora Griffin, Sleeping Potion, Hobble, Malicious Advice, Sawtooth Loon, Sunscape Familiar, Marsh Crocodile, Sunscape Familiar, Sisay's Ingenuity, Samite Pilgrim, Disciple of Kangee, Nightscape Battlemage, Stormscape Familiar.
There was definitely some confusion, as the table found out who could and could not draft well in Planeshift, with several players demolishing their previous strategies, and even one player who was, to all appearances, raredrafting! Some players were able to stick to their guns, but it was Bachmann, Ellis, and Tamber who stayed most nearly where they intended. This, of course, leads to a potentially disastrous Apocalypse draft, and it didn't help that three different people were the recipient of Fungal Shamblers that they were pretty sure they could play. White remained underdrafted, though, and while Tobey arguably picked Diversionary Tactics much too highly, he was also fairly lacking in ways to knock through his opponent's defenses, which the Tactics is able to do. In Apocalypse, Tobey drafted the following cards:
Manacles of Decay, Squee's Revenge, Diversionary Tactics, Shimmering Mirage, Living Airship, Coalition Honor Guard, Dega Disciple, Divine Light, AEther Mutation, Dega Disciple, Manacles of Decay, Shield of Duty and Reason, Dega Disciple, Urborg Elf
Tobey's final deck looked like this:
Tobey remarked that he thought he did well, even though it was not a color combination he really wanted to be playing, since he received a lot of gifts with the players around him, either not playing his colors or picking the less powerful card of a pair, such as passing him a Lashknife Barrier while drafting a Samite Pilgrim. Tobey really wanted to be in blue-white-red, but the cards came as they did and he never had a reason to try and 'escape' the color combination he had settled into, or the mana-fixers with which to try.